Monday, March 27, 2017

It's the birthday of the birthday song lady.

The Writer's Almanac:

Campane di Ravello was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony for conductor Sir Georg Solti's 75th birthday in 1987. Have a listen...
It’s the birthday of the woman who wrote “Happy Birthday to You,” Patty Smith Hill, born in Anchorage, Kentucky (1868). Most of her life was spent as a kindergarten teacher. She began teaching in Louisville, Kentucky, and it was there, in 1893, that Hill first wrote the lyrics to the song. But it was originally meant as a welcome to start the school day and was first called “Good Morning to All.” Hill’s sister Mildred, an accomplished musician, provided the melody. Hill was 25 when she wrote the lyrics to the famous song. 
It became popularized with the invention of radio and sound films. The song appeared in the Broadway musical “The Band Wagon” (1931), and was used for Western Union’s first singing telegram in 1933. A third sister, Jessica Hill, noticed the similarities between “Happy Birthday to You” and the song her sisters wrote, and it was officially copyrighted in 1935. The song produced about $2 million in licensing revenue for years. Then in 2015, federal judge George H. King ruled that that the copyright claim under Warner Music Group was invalid, and “Happy Birthday to You” became part of the public domain—available for anyone to use without being fined.

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